Real-Life Clash of Clans – Huge Verdicts are Alive and Well in the E.D. Tex.
In Gree, Inc. v. Supercell Oy (E.D. Tex. 2019 and 2020), available here, here, here, here (judgment), here, here, here, and here (jury verdict). Gree, Inc. is (was?) a successful Japanese mobile game developer. Their games have been popular in Japan for at least ten years. They made efforts to enter the U.S market, though acquisition of popular game companies in the west. Those efforts were unsuccessful. Those game companies eventually were shut down. However, Gree has numerous patents in the U.S. and began asserting those rights against one of the largest mobile game companies at the time, Supercell Oy.
Supercell fought hard. Very hard. There were a total of eighteen post grant review actions filed. Virtually all of them succeeded. However, some did not. And in 2019, the first decision above resulted in a $8.5 million verdict against Supercell. Gree sued again before that case was complete. Supercell continued fighting, filing 32 additional IPRs and post grant review actions. Most of those are still pending. While those are pending, an E.D. Tex jury granted a verdict of over $92 million. The associated patents in that lawsuit are here, here, here, here, here, and here. The claims give some idea of their coverage and susceptibility to Section 101 attacks.
For our discussion, we will consider how Gree transitioned from an operating business in the U.S. into effectively a non-practicing patent assertion entity. All the while, their business is humming along in Japan. We will also discuss how difficult it is to fight a patent owner who possesses numerous patents and how Section 101 jurisprudence has muddied the waters of this case and whether these claims should be invalid under Section 101. Also, why did Gree sue Supercell, and only Supercell, but no others?
All are welcome to attend the SoCal IP Institute program at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time on June 14, 2021 where we will discuss the above. To join the discussion, please RSVP via email to elisham @ socalip.com (remove the spaces, which have been inserted to thwart spammers) by noon the day of the program to obtain a video conference link. This activity has been approved for one hour of CLE credit.